When I first found out I was expecting twins, I wasn’t sure I would do cloth diapers. It sounded like the better ecological thing to do, but what about the mess, the laundry, the inconvenience. However, just like every pregnant mom now does, I researched. It sounded easy, and the more I read, the more it seemed liked a natural choice for our family.
Cloth diapers have come a long way from eras before. Cotton pre folds with safety pin fasteners are still available, and while those may be the most economical option, there are now many companies that offer reusable covers, liners – either reusable or disposable, and various boosters / inserts / accessories that allow for numerous ways to do cloth diapering – either all cloth or a hybrid system of reusable and disposable / compostable parts. Some diapers have a “pocket,” and are stuffed with absorbent inserts, and others are “all in one,” meaning they are one fluffy diaper, and usually in cute prints or bright colors too.
What really sold me was the not only the environmental benefit, but the cost savings that goes along with cloth diapering a child, let alone multiples. My twins are now ten months, and we have spent around $500. According to one book I read, a baby’s diapers and wipes will cost around $2000 from birth until potty trained, or $4000 for both. We have bought some pre worn covers, some new cloth diapers, and buy occasional disposable diapers and wipes for travel days or long outings.
When I put cloth diapers on our registry, I heard some laundry comments, saying your water bill is going to go up, however that has not been our reality. I made sure to get enough supplies, so that we could wash diapers every other day. This meant about 15 covers and 40 inserts, with a couple all in one diapers, reusable wipes, and wet bags.
Tips to get started with cloth diapers
Most cloth diapers need to be washed several times before being worn, as prepping them improves the absorbancy. Detergent needs free of bleach, and no fabric softener is used in the dryer. Specific cloth diaper brands to try are Rockin green, Grovia, Babyganics or a gentle, fragrance free baby friendly brand will work too.
If you use diapers with hook and loop closures (velcro), you will need to tuck the tabs in before washing, so that they don’t snag the rest of the laundry load.
Start cloth diapers after meconium poo has finished, because because that stuff is hard to get out! Note: to make it easier to clean the baby, you can put a little oil on their bottom for the first couple days.
Diapers take a long time to dry. They can be hung on a clothes line – baby laundry looks sweet hanging up and the UV rays help prevent bacteria and eliminate stains or odors.
For twins, I recommend starting with a couple newborn covers and several diapers per child. Brands we liked were Flips, Rumparooz, and Little Joey all in ones. All in ones are more expensive, but because they are just one piece, they are more like a disposable diaper, and good for when someone else is helping with the kids.
Once the babies outgrow newborn sizes, you can switch to cloth diapers that grow with the babies, until they are potty trained. We have tried lots of brands, and the best for us have been Grovia. This brand makes great fitting covers, that can be used with disposable / compostable inserts, their snap in reusable inserts or any combination of cloth liners. We like the Grovia inserts or Alba bamboo diapers.
For overnight, we do Grovia O.N.E. diapers, which features many layers of fabric that whisks moisture away from the baby’s skin, so they don’t feel wet, and they are very absorbent. These can be worn up to 12 hours, and we have never had any leaks. We have six O.N.E. diapers in total. Even if you are not ready to make the switch to cloth, I highly suggest trying cloth for overnight, as I really feel they help the babies sleep. We even take them to travel, and bring a wet bag if we can’t do laundry every day.
Many cities offer cloth diapering services, delivering clean diapers weekly, in exchange for soiled ones. This may cost more than doing diaper laundry at home, but could be the most convenient way to get started with cloth. There are also Facebook groups to buy pre worn covers and liners, which is a good way to try lots of different brands before deciding what works best for your babies. Modern cloth diapers can be worn for many years, so if they are well cared for, you can sell your stash when your babies are potty trained.
No matter if you try cloth diapers once, do a combination of cloth and disposable or opt for all cloth diapers, you will save money, reduce diaper rash, and reap the environmental benefit of keeping disposable diapers out of the landfill.
About the Author
Jacquelyn Ingram – CM,IBCLC. TLC’s LA Lactation Associate is a California licensed midwife, IBCLC, and mother to boy/girl twins. Her passion is global health, and travels internationally as a midwife volunteer and educator. She is from Homer, Alaska and currently developing an Alaska native birth companion program, with goal to provide labor support to women who must travel out of their community for their birth. Jacquelyn is excited to join the TLC team, and looks forward to meeting parents of multiples in upcoming breastfeeding twins classes. Please contact Jac at email@example.com for more information about our Breastfeeding and Newborn Care with Twins classes, Lactation services in Los Angeles and surrounds.